Tag Archives: working dogs

Stay Spooky

I saw this shirt on Etsy on Friday and I was like, “I absolutely NEED this!!” So of course I bought it. And it’s already here!! It literally shipped a few hours after I ordered it and I couldn’t believe it! That’s the fastest I’ve ever had an online order come. So I’m a super happy camper! 😊

Here’s the link to the Etsy shop I bought it from. I definitely recommend this shop! Obviously because my order got here so quickly but also because the shirt is great quality, super comfy, and bat!!! πŸ¦‡πŸŒ™

This wasn’t sponsored or anything. Just wanted to share a neat find!

Anyway, Today was a rest day! Yay!!

I sure needed it! I’m actually not sore or anything today. I’m just feeling tired, depleted, and a little bit dehydrated. When I woke up this morning I almost felt sick. Once I got some breakfast and water in me I felt a lot better. But still. A day off from running was definitely needed.

So, this morning I drank a bunch of water, watched Kiki’s Delivery Service, and did a DIY face mask. I love DIY beauty stuff. I know exactly what’s going onto sand therefore into my body. Everything is natural without any weird ingredients, chemicals, or preservatives.

This face mask is super simple, is only made up of two ingredients that just might already be in your kitchen (they’re definitely staples in mine!), and leaves my skin feeling super silky and clean! So literally all you do is mix one part raw honey with one part coffee grounds (they can be fresh but I usually use the used grounds from my morning cup of coffee. β˜•οΈπŸ™‚), apply evenly to your face, let it sit for 30 minutes, then wash off. That easy!!

I may or may not have borrowed my husband’s shirt for this. πŸ˜‚

Since raw honey is antibacterial so it’s supposed to be great for acne. It’s also full of antioxidants so it’s supposedly good for anti-aging. Coffee is supposed to be good for circulation and is therefore also good for anti-aging. Plus it’s a natural exfoliant so it helps remove dead skin cells from your face and is also supposed to be good for your complexion.

Now I’m not sure how true all of that stuff is. I just know that it makes my skin feel nice and I like the way it smells. πŸ˜‚

Plus it’s relatively cheap and easy to make if honey and coffee are staples in your kitchen. And I’m all about cheap and easy! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, it was a nice morning.

This afternoon was relaxing and uneventful. Mostly I continued my binge listening of ATWWD while doing some light housework.

This evening Luke and I took Lily to the vet the have the staples from her surgery removed. That was pretty quick and easy! Lily has healed beautifully and is now able to resume her regular activities which is great! Hahaha I was getting tired of yelling at her for jumping up onto the couch or bed because and for running too fast. Things she wasn’t supposed to do because it might rip her staples out. Obviously she was confused about all of that because she’s never been yelled at for doing any of that before. πŸ˜‚ But we’re past all of that now and things can go back to normal in her life.

Anyway, that’s all for today!

Happy Monday! I hope you have a great week!!

Stay spooky, my friends,

~Ashley πŸŒΏπŸ¦‡πŸŒ™

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Thursday Things

Sad news to report today. Unfortunately the girl puppy ended up dying yesterday.

Honestly I wasn’t too surprised. Yesterday I mentioned that she had a cleft palate which she did. But I think there was more than that wrong with her. Her little legs were always splayed and she couldn’t seem to bend or move them correctly. She couldn’t move around as well as her brother and she just wasn’t thriving at all. Poor thing. But it happens. And it was probably for the best. She isn’t suffering anymore.

Little girl sleeping in my hand after getting fed.

Boy puppy is doing incredibly well though! He’s getting visibly bigger everyday! He’s a strong and healthy little boy! He’s absolutely thriving and the other dogs are very interested in him. I can’t wait until he gets big enough to play with the big dogs. 😁 He’s just adorable. Giving him away when the time comes is going to be tough. πŸ˜‚

His little feet are huge fit his body and just so darn cute!!!

Anyway, today was a rest day thank goodness!! I was TIRED!!! Hahaha and sore. Half marathon training is definitely in full swing at this point!!! πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜„

So, Thursday’s are usually a rest day or a cross train day when it comes to my training plan. It’s really up to me and how I feel. And today I felt like I needed rest so rest I did!

This morning I got caught up with the latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale and oh my gosh. I just…wow! All of the feels! I don’t even have the words to describe how I feel about it. πŸ˜‚ But I feel like if you watch it then you know what I mean.

And while we’re on the subject of entertainment let’s talk about my new favorite podcast; And That’s Why We Drink!

I have legit been listening to this podcast non stop for two weeks now! I absolutely love it!!

I’ve been into running, health, and fitness podcasts for a while now but I’ve finally branched out of that general genre when this popped up in my recommended section on Spotify. I’ve always been into supernatural/true crime/fictional stuff of that kind since I was a little kid. I can’t tell you how many B rated horror movies I’ve seen with my mom! Along with the bigger/more we’ll known stuff as well. And I mean, I’ve been reading Stephen King novels since I was like, 12. So this podcast is right up my alley!

It’s definitely spooky but the hosts, Em and Christine, are hilarious and they definitely do a good job of completely creeping me out, while simultaneously making me laugh. It’s fantastic! So if you’re into that kinda thing definitely check out their podcast!!

On that note, does anyone believe in the paranormal?? Honestly I’m not sure if I do or not. I’ve never really experienced anything of that kind, although I have been in a house that was supposedly haunted. Nothing weird happened but it sure gave everyone there the creeps! No one would go into this house alone (we were helping to clean it out after the owner died) and there were some pretty weird cold spots, but that was it.

So I’m not sure if I actually believe in the supernatural or not. But I also wouldn’t say that I don’t believe. I’ve heard some insane stories from people I’ve known about Ouija board. One person swears his brother spelled out “Jesus” on one once and it flew out the window and then later spontaneously caught on fire. So yeah, that’s enough to make me swear off of them! I’ve never played with a Ouija board before and I refuse to let anyone bring one into my house. It also freaks me out how popular that and other religious or paranormal or demonic or whatever symbols have become so popular to wear on clothes and stuff. Not gonna lie, I do think that stuff looks cool but I’m also paranoid and think that would be almost like inviting paranormal stuff to happen to you. I don’t know. I just wouldn’t want to risk it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

And I know that sounds weird coming from someone who loves Halloween, but I’m even careful about the Halloween decoration I get and put up. I don’t need any ghosts ur demons haunting or possessing me!! Hahaha so I don’t know, maybe I do believe in that kinda thing a little more that I think I do.

I do, however, believe without a doubt that aliens exist in some way shape or form! Our universe is just too big to think that we’re the only planet that supports life or are the only intelligent beings out there. πŸ‘½

Hahahaha wow. This post got real weird real fast!! πŸ˜‚ It’s also kinda all over the place, with puppies, running, paranormal stuff, and aliens. But hey, that’s why I like having a blog. I can just go on and on about weird things like that. Especially in my always random “Thursday Things” posts. These are really the ones I feel like I can get weird or be super random with. πŸ˜‚

So Yeah, when I’m not running more likely than not you’ll find me caring for a now single puppy while listening to that podcast.

He sleeps with his little tongue out and it’s adorable!! 😍

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled on enough for today.

Happy Friday eve!

~Ashley πŸ‘½

That Backyard Farm Life

Border collies, and chickens, and tomatoes, oh my!!

If you weren’t already aware, I have quite the little backyard farm going on!

I grew up on an 80 acre farm in rural Illinois and I miss it all of the time, but my tiny little backyard set up does help. Also maybe it’s practice for a future real farm someday? I sure hope so!!

But before we get into everything I’ve going going on in that regard I just wanted to quickly mention that I got pooped on by a bird during my run this morning. That was definitely a first for me and I thought it was pretty funny. πŸ¦πŸ’©πŸ˜‚

Ok, so backyard farm.

Obviously I’ve got my 4 border collies. They have been my dream since I was 10 years old and I cannot even being to describe how happy they make me! One day I’d like to actually have some real livestock for them to work (Lily actually has worked cattle before and does know a few real herding commands), but for now they just help me keep my chickens and rabbits in line. πŸ˜‚

One of my rabbits has a habit of escaping her hutch at night and getting under our shed. But when she eventually comes out Finn knows to keep her from getting back under there and will hold her in one place so I can quickly grab her. Border collies are incredibly smart and the fact that he’s caught on to what I need him to do is just so awesome!

Don’t worry! This doesn’t stress the bunny out! If you’ve ever seen border collies work then you know they’re very quite and deliberate with what they do. Plus she’s just super used to it and isn’t afraid of my dogs at all. Hahaha if she was a sheep she would be considered β€œdog broke”. Which just means she’s used to being worked by my dogs.

So yeah. I’m just over here living one of my childhood dreams and it’s pretty fucking sweet!

Now, I’ve really debated talking about this next part, but I’m briefly going to get into it. Super duper long story that really doesn’t matter anymore and even if it did I wouldn’t get into it anyway, I’ve recently come into the possession of 2 as of today 6 day old border collie puppies. Like I said, it’s a long story that really doesn’t matter. But what does matter is that they’ve been keeping me very busy! One is a little boy and the other is a little girl.

Unfortunately the little girl has a cleft palate so we’re not sure what’s going to happen with her yet. We’re planning on taking her to the vet soon and seeing what they think we should do. Obviously I’m not a vet, but from what I’ve read it might just be better to euthanize her. Unfortunately stuff like that happens. But we’ll see what the vet says. So I was bottle feeding her, but that wasn’t working well since puppies with cleft palates can’t create the proper suction to nurse. So I’ve switched to feeding her with a syringe for now. And I may have to keep doing that for 3 or 4 more weeks until I can start weening them. That or I’ll only have 1 puppy to care for soon. We shall see.

Little girl fell asleep in my hand after I got done feeding her. Poor baby, is doing a lot better after I started feeding her with a syringe though.

Note; we are not keeping either of these puppies. I’m just taking care of them until they’re old enough to find new homes. But they are adorable! And while they are a lot of work, I do like having them around. 😁

Okey doke! Moving on!!

My chickens are doing well! Nothing really too exciting to report on that front. They eat, poop, and lay eggs pretty much every day. Jethro, my rooster, gets a little bit high and mighty anytime a man gets anywhere near the coop but other than that he’s the nicest rooster I’ve ever met. πŸ˜‚

Since my hens are pretty well established and laying almost every day (they’ve slowed down a little bit because of the heat) I’ve been selling eggs to a few people. Nothing too crazy, but they have paid for a few bags of their feed, so hey, I’ll take it!!

Fresh and pretty eggs washed and ready to be delivered to my neighbor!

So this year my garden is much smaller than it has been in previous years, but it’s doing much better than it did last year!! Last year we legit went 2 months without a drop of rain and my poor tomato plants suffered because of it. This year the weather has been much better and we’ve had a ridiculous amount of tomatoes!! And a decent amount of cucumbers too! 😊

Luke and I have already made 2 jars of tomato sauce and we plan on making more! Plus a bunch of pickles. Canning is a lot of fun, plus we like to have homemade tomato products for chili. We make a lot of chili in the cold months hahaha. And homemade sauce made from a homegrown tomatoes just makes it that much better.

So all of this backyard farm stuff is a lot of work! Monday I spent 2 hours in the morning tending to everything outside and today I spent 3 hours out there! And that’s not counting caring for the puppies and feeding/cleaning up after the rest of the animals. πŸ˜‚ Mostly those 2 days were filled with general yard work, weeding the garden, picking tomatoes and cucumbers, watering the garden, and weed whacking.

Whew! All of that stuff counts as cross training, right?? Hahaha I sure think it does! All that stuff is hard freaking work! I enjoy it though. I guess you could say it’s in my blood. Now if only I could actually make some real money off of all of this! It’s a lot of work and little reward if you don’t count the eggs and produce. Mostly it’s just thankless work. A lot of people assume that since I don’t have a “real” job that I sit around all day doing a whole lot of nothing but that definitely isn’t the case!

So yeah. That’s basically my life at this point! Running, raising dogs, chickens, and growing food! Along with blogging and general household stuff of course. It’s not a glamorous life, but it’s mine and I love it. 😊

I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday!!

You’re backyard farming friend aka Farmer Dan (it’s an inside joke πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰),

~Ashley

New Setup For The Chickens!

This whole Ozzy situation has officially gotten out of hand. So Luke and I finally did something about it yesterday.

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Ozzy is my neighbor’s dog. He’s been getting into my yard a lot for the past several weeks and terrorizing my chickens. But now he’s getting even worse about it. So something had to be done.

So, on Thursday night when Luke got home from work we began building a structure to protect them. We didn’t get very far with it that night though. It was pouring down rain and we were under a sever thunderstorm warning and it’s kinda hard to work outside in those conditions. Plus we ran out of daylight pretty quickly, so we had to stop and then continue the next morning.

 

 

 

It was a rough morning. Things weren’t going the way Luke had planned and after our little building project had fallen apart twice we decided to stop, go get some food, regroup, and figure out a better way to go about this thing we were trying to accomplish. Oh and did I mention that it was hot, humid, and super gross out that morning following the thunderstorm from the night before? Yeah, it stayed like that all day and it was pretty awful.

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Anyway, while we were eating we did some brain storming and came up with the idea to get a dog kennel. If we could get one that was big enough the chicken coop would fit in it, when Ozzy wasn’t around the chickens would have more area to roam around in, and when he was we’d be able to lock them up in the coop and they’d be more protected from him. And plus we figured a dog kennel would be easier to assemble than what we were trying to build, so after we ate we ended up at Tractor Supply.

At Tractor Supply we learned that the super fancy dog kennels don’t all come in one DIY kit. You have to buy pretty much each panel individually, which would get crazy expensive crazy fast, because each piece was close to $100 and that wasn’t even including the dog house, ramp, and roof that you could add to this kennel. But after some searching we found exactly what we wanted. A DIY dog kennel kit that came with the WHOLE kennel and not just sections of it, for $200. Not bad! The only thing that wasn’t included in the kit was a top cover though. That came all by itself for an additional $50. I though that was stupid, so I asked Luke if we could just get a tarp to cover the top. He thought that was a really good idea and wanted to know why it took me that long to come up with it haha. So after we loaded up our dog kennel into the truck we went to Home Depot and got a $15 dollar tarp and a few $1.50 bungee cords. That seemed a lot more reasonable than a $50 cover for the kennel. πŸ™‚

So we went home, unloaded the truck, and Luke said he still wasn’t sure how we were going to fit the coop into this kennel once it was built. That’s when I asked him if it wouldn’t just be easier to build the kennel around the coop, because that’s what I thought we were going to do anyway. Haha that was my second fantastic idea for the day, and I’m surprised that my engineer husband didn’t come up with that one all on his own! πŸ˜‰ So we moved the chicken coop to the area we wanted to build the kennel in, and then began to assemble it.

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There is actually grass and weeds in the new spot that we moved to coop to, and the chickens were definitely enjoying it!!

So we did end up running into a few bumps along the road that was putting this kennel together, but all in all it went pretty well. It was definitely a lot easier than what we were trying to do before!!

 

 

We got the frame assembled very quickly, had a little bit of an issue with the gate, but Luke figured that out, and then put up the chain-link! Some dude at Tractor Supply (we are pretty sure that he didn’t even work their haha) told us that putting up the chain-link was going to be a bitch and we shouldn’t even bother buying the kit, but it was actually pretty easy! A bit time consuming, but still, it really wasn’t that hard. And once it was all put together we let the chickens out to explore a little bit (under close supervision from Lily and Finn πŸ˜‰ ) and took a short break before we put the tarp over top of it.

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The tarp ended up being really easy to put up as well, plus it kinda helped it re-enforce the whole thing. Luke also put a steak in the middle of it so that the rain, snow, or whatever should fall right off of it instead of pooling up on it. So now the chickens can’t fly out, nothing else could fly in, and they’ve got plenty of shade and should be a little more protected from the elements in general.

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Lily, who was raised on a farm, has some legit herding training, and grew up around chickens and therefore knows how to handle herself around them, is a big fan of this new setup haha. Now she can get in the kennel with them and keep an eye on them and kinda sorta herd them a bit. πŸ˜‰ Finn thinks it’s pretty neat too! And although he’s got some pretty impressive instincts, he’s never had any kind of herding training, and is young and excitable, so he’s not allowed in there with them. At least not yet. But he seems to think that it’s pretty neat that they can move around more, so he can kinda follow them around a little bit more.

 

 

All in all we’re very happy with how the dog kennel set up ended up working, and like I said, now the chickens have some more room to roam when Ozzy isn’t around to bother them, they’ll be a little bit more protected from the elements, and when Ozzy does get into my yard they can just be put into their coop and then he won’t be able to be as close to them or jump up on or scratch at the coop anymore. So that’s pretty freaking sweet!! I mean, it does kinda suck that we had to go through all of this trouble because of someone else dog, but still, the chickens end up benefiting a lot from it, so at least there’s that.

Alright then, now I have to get up on my soapbox and talk about whyΒ herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breeds of dogs don’t make good pets unless you’re prepared to deal with them and know 100% what you’re getting into with certain breeds of dogs. Because that’s the problem with Ozzy. He’s a heeler or a heeler mix. So he’s a herding dog. He’s pretty smart, full of energy, and he’s also bored and lonely because he’s left out in my neighbor’s backyard all day while he’s at work. That is basically a recipe for disaster when it comes to these kinds of dogs. You CANNOT get a high-energy/intelligent breed of dog and expect them to just be content running around a yard by themselves all day. They’ll end up getting bored and then doing things like barking excessively, digging, tearing stuff up, or escaping into your neighbors yard and terrorizing her chickens and rabbits, and playing with her 2 high-energy dogs who are out there a lot (haha Lily has separation anxiety, so she’ll only hang out in the backyard if Luke or myself go out there with her).

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My dogs know how to behave around the chickens and don’t want to kill/chase them. Lily and Finn just want to herd them/guard them, and Dean wants nothing to do with them. Ozzy wants to make them move, chase them, and then probably rip them to pieces. This photo was taken right before Finn started fighting Ozzy, because Ozzy was bothering his chickens. Finn thinks his job it to keep the chickens safe and that’s exactly what he was trying to do.

After seeing the way my dogs behave and how smart they are, a lot of people who see them actually end up telling me that they want a border collie (or something similar) as well. And honestly I tend to try to discourage them because these types of dogs need a lot of exercise, attention, and mental stimulation. Like, A LOT. They are happiest when they are working. And when they aren’t they become problems which is why a lot of them end up in shelters labeled as “hyper” or “aggressive” or with “behavioral issues”. So that’s why I think that unless you have the time, patience, knowledge, and energy to care for a dog that’s a herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breed, most people would be better off with a different breed of dog. And remember that this is coming from someone with 3 border collies and thinks that they are the best dogs in the world haha. But they are not for everyone. Luke and I spend a lot of time making sure that they get the attention that they need and that they all have “jobs”. We also take them to an off leash dog park almost every weekend.

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They don’t just get to run around all willy nilly at the dog park. They’re constantly being told to come, sit, stay, and do other tricks and commands, to keep them mentally stimulated and to make them feel like they’re working.

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But they also get to play around a little bit while we’re there. πŸ™‚

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And whenever possible we like to take them to new places and put them into different situations. So they’re prepared for pretty much anything and always know how to act, no matter where we are or whats going on.

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When we’re at home fetch is a way of life and is taken very seriously.

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Individual walks happen pretty much everyday, regardless of the weather. The longer the better, although shorter ones will suffice if pressed for time.

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It’s not exactly easy, but Luke and I have gotten pretty good and wearing them out!! πŸ™‚

Ok, I’m done now. But obviously this is something that’s near and dear to my heart and it drives me crazy seeing a good dog turn into a problem. In almost every situation it’s not the dogs fault, it’s the handler. Because trust me, my dogs are fantastic! And I’ve met a lot of amazing dogs, but they don’t come that way. You have to MAKE them that way. And that’s a lot easier to do when you get a dog that you know with out a shadow of a doubt that you can handle and provide everything that it could possible need. That way you’re life will be a lot easier and you’ll end up with an amazing dog.

 

Whew! I didn’t mean to go onto a tangent like that, but I think the more that things like that get said, the better!

Anyways, after our building adventures were done we were finally able to spend the rest of the evening in the glorious air conditioner!! And that night someone live-streamed most of The Longshot’s concert that happened last night on Billie Joe Armstrong’s Instagram account, so obviously my little fangirl heart was as happy as could be! It looked like one hell of a show and I’m super duper jealous of anyone who gets to see The Longshot live, because they aren’t coming anywhere near where I live haha. But it is nice to at least get to see it on my phone. πŸ™‚

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Haha between getting another root canal and this big project, I haven’t gotten a lot of running done this week. But it’s all good! I felt like I could use a little bit of a break from all of the gross summer running anyway. πŸ˜‰ Plus all of the work we did putting together that dog kennel for the chickens hardcore wore me out!! When I woke up this morning I decided that I wasn’t going to do shit today, and so far so good!! πŸ˜‰ I’m very much on board with having the laziest Saturday ever!!

I hope you have a fantastic day and a great Memorial Day weekend!!

Your very dog obsessed friend,

~Ashley

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*squee!!!!!* Finn was so little!!!!! Haha he wasn’t a very cute puppy though. πŸ˜‰Β 

 

 

StrideBox, Earlier Mornings, and My Neighbor’s Dog, Ozzy.

Another month means another StrideBox! Yay!!

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Getting a box full of running goodies once a month never gets old! I was particularly excited about the Honey Stinger Cracker N’ Nut bar that came in May’s box! Those things have quickly become one of my all time favorite snacks. πŸ™‚

Anyway, it would appear that spring didn’t stick around very long. It’s been feeling more and more like summer here in Kansas. So far the highs are all in the 80’s this week, and on Wednesday (I think), it’s supposed to be around 89 degrees. And it’s just gonna keep getting hotter from here. Yuck… But on the bright side, summer is thunderstorm season and I do love thunderstorms! Watching storm fronts move in is basically one of my favorite hobbies. πŸ˜‰

Haha but anyway, I’ve got a 5k on Saturday and it’s looking like the weather isn’t gonna be too great for that. According to my weather app the high is gonna be 90 degrees. Cloudy, which will help a bit, but still, 90 degrees…Well, this race is at 8 am though, so it should actually be cooler than that, but still. Plus there are a few thunderstorms in the forecast before Saturday, which means it’s gonna be crazy humid…Β  I’m beginning to think the time goal I had in mind might not happen on Saturday. I know it’s only a 5k and if it were any other weather condition (cold, rainy, icy, snowy, even windy) I could and gladly would suffer through it. But for whatever reason I’ve never been able to do that when it comes to heat and humidity. It slows me waaay down, completely drains me, and leaves me feeling pretty shitty and tired for the rest of the day. Haha I mean, I always kinda feel tired and bleh when it’s hot out, but it just gets worse if I ran that day.

Anyway, I haven’t completely given up on my goal. I just might get super lucky! But I’m also prepared to accept the fact that the weather is what it is and I just not might be able to fight through it. And at the very least there will be cows, goats, and a huge buffet at the end. Even if I am only running the 5k, I’m gonna hit that buffet HARD hahahaha. πŸ˜‰

Ok, back to the point that I actually wanted to make. Since the weather has been getting warmer I’ve been having to wake up earlier. Right now I’m only having to get up at 6 am, which is only about an hour earlier than I usually do. So that’s not too horrible. But I’m able to get up, eat, drink my coffee and some water, brush my teeth, get dressed, and then get out the door just a little bit before 7 am. And that’s been working quite well, since the sun isn’t all the way up by then so it feels a little cooler. Plus the asphalt is still relatively cool since the sun hasn’t been shining on it for long at that time of day.

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View from my back porch at 6 am this morning.

So my run today was pretty pleasant, for the most part. It felt kinda cool even though it was in the high 60’s, there was a very nice breeze, and the sun was still mostly below the trees by the time I finished so I never got miserably hot. I felt pretty good during all 5 miles. The only real problem was my neighbor’s dog, Ozzy.

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You see, Ozzy is a relatively young dog, probably around Finn’s age, and my neighbor has had him for maybe 5 or 6 months (his old dog, Zadie, had to be euthanized. She was a really good dog and everyone was pretty upset about that.) Ozzy is also a red heeler (or maybe only part heeler, I don’t remember exactly), so he’s a herding dog. And obviously we have all sorts of small creatures in our backyard that look fun to chase. And for the past few weeks our chickens have really gotten his attention.

Anther thing that’s important to note is that the fence that we share with this neighbor is old and very broken haha. So he and Luke have been working on replacing it, but that’s been kind of a slow process because they both work a lot and our neighbor also goes camping a lot with his brother. That’s not been an issue until later last week though, when Ozzy figured out how to squeeze under the fence and started terrorizing my chickens.

So last Friday while I was feeding my little flock I saw a flash of white in what is usually a mostly black blur that happens in my backyard when all 3 of my dogs are running around, and of course it was Ozzy. Initially I wasn’t too worried about it. You can tell that he really wants to play with my dogs when he’s in his yard and they all like to run the fence line together. But after a few minutes of running around my yard he started to bother the chickens. Running around their coop, jumping on it, barking at them, and just kinda freaking them out in general. That pissed Finn off. Those are Finn’s chickens. He spends a lot of time trying to herd them through the coop (and sometimes he can even successfully make them move into a little group haha), but for the most part he just likes to sit near the coop and guard them. He does the same thing to the rabbit hutch. Those are his small animals and he has taken it upon himself to protect them. He’s also super protective of me (he will literally throw himself across my body and shield me from anything he thinks is a threat), the backyard, and pretty much anything he knows belongs to Luke and I. He’s a good dog, but he’s also still pretty young and dumb. He’s basically a teenager. πŸ˜‰

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So anyway, he ended up getting into a fight with Ozzy because he didn’t like Ozzy upsetting his chickens. Luckily they both stopped when I yelled at them and neither of them were hurt. So I put my dogs in my house, locked the chickens in their nesting area, and caught Ozzy and put him back in his yard. Then I covered all of the spots in the fence that he could squeeze under with rocks and bricks, hoping that would keep him out. And it did for the rest of Friday, but now he’s learned how to dig at them and move them just enough so that he can squeeze back under and he’s been in our yard at least once (but usually more than that) ever since. And like I said, I wouldn’t really mind him being in our yard, if he didn’t cause problems

So back to what happened today. I got up at 6, let Finn and Dean out (Luke was still asleep at this point and Lily will refuse to leave the bedroom if he’s still in bed. Haha she’s also super protective like Finn is. She’s just smarter and more mature about it. πŸ˜‰ ), then let the chickens out into the outside area of their coop and fed them. About half an hour later I found Ozzy in the yard, so I got him out, readjusted the rocks and bricks on the fence, and went out for my run. When I was about 3 miles in I ran past my house and saw he was back in my yard so I had to stop, repeat the whole process again, and then left to do the last two miles of my run.

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Ozzy and Dean watching me take off for the last portion of my run this morning.

Finished my remaining 2 miles, and of course I found Ozzy back in the yard again. And this time he was trying to dig under the coop to get to my chickens! Yeah, obviously I’m not about to let that happen. I’m already kind of irritated that he’s been upsetting them. So went through the whole process of catching him again, put more stuff along the fence in an attempt to keep him out, and then I lined the outside of the chicken coop with rocks and bricks. So if he does get in my yard and tries to dig underneath the coop again it should at least slow him down. Or at least that’s what I’m hoping. Haha the chickens did enjoy this though. The rocks and bricks were covered in all sorts of bugs and worms, so they got to have themselves a nice little bug buffet this morning. They seemed to enjoy chasing and chasing bugs to their little hearts’ content. πŸ™‚

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And of course there’s Finn and his long ass tongue on the other side of the coop keeping an eye on them haha. If you look at the top of the photo you can also see Ozzy claw marks on the wood of the coop. He’s scratched up the other side of the coop really bad… 😦

So far he hasn’t gotten back into our yard since I caught him for the third time today, so that’s good. But here in a little bit Luke and I are going to go bury some rocks and bricks along the fence line in hopes that will keep Ozzy out of our yard until they can finish replacing that fence. Hopefully then he wont be able to get into our yard anymore and our chickens will be safe. At least from him haha. Last summer a raccoon took up residence under our shed. I haven’t seen him since last fall though so I’m hoping he’s gone for good. I’m pretty sure all of the feral cats are too afraid of my dogs to even attempt to get into my back yard (raise you’re hand if you know what tends to happen to feral cats on a farm! Yeah, I kinda miss having that option. Feral cats are nothing but a problem…). There are also a couple of foxes that live in my neighborhood. One lives under someone else’s shed a few blocks down, as a matter of fact! There’s not much we can do about them though, except hope that all of the dogs keep them away. And there are a lot of dogs in all of the yards surrounding our house haha.

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But of course my dogs are the best, and I’m definitely not biased at all about that. πŸ˜‰Β 

Well this post ended up being longer than I thought it was gonna be! Haha it happens though. Sometimes I just get going and I can’t stop! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I’ll definitely be posting about what goes down with my 5k on Saturday! Hopefully it doesn’t end up being as bad as I think it might be.

I hope your Tuesday was terrific! (That was super lame, I know.)

~Ashley

Easter Weekend Shenanigans

Woohoo! I’m finally able to really use my right hand again!!! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

I got bit by a dog on Monday while Luke, the dogs, and I were in Illinois visiting our families. Yeah, it was totally my fault and I have hard feelings towards the dog. I shouldn’t have grabbed her when she bolted out the door…

But I’ll get to that story eventually! First let’s talk about all of the fun Luke and I managed to squeeze into our small amount of time in Illinois! πŸ˜‰

So, early last week Luke found out he got Easter Sunday off of work, so on a whim he kinda decided to take a vacation day for the following Monday so we could go visit our families. He had to work on Saturday though, so we’re only going up have a very small amount of time there, but we sure managed to use that time well!

On Saturday I spent the day doing laundry, dishes, bathing the dogs, packing for our trip, and just getting everything ready in general for us to be gone for a few days. I’m pretty sure I went over all of that in this post. πŸ˜‰Β Anyway, Saturday evening when Luke got home from work I was ready to go! He quickly changed, we packed the car, loaded up the dogs and started making our way to Illinois. It takes about 5 hours to get from our house to Luke’s dad’s in Illinois. It’s a boring drive, but it’s a lot better than the 11 hours that it takes to get to my mom and dad’s in Longmont Colorado! πŸ˜‰ Finn sure got comfy on our way there haha.

 

We got to Luke’s dad’s house around 11:30 Saturday night and as per our new tradition that we started on Christmas, Luke, his dad, oldest brother, and myself stayed up until 2:30 am playing Cards Against Humanity haha. Luke’s dad bought an expansion pack so we had all sorts of new cards to play with. It was a lot of fun. What wasn’t fun was sleeping on their pullout couch. It doesn’t feel very sturdy, sinks in, and there’s not a lot of room. Luke and I fit on it fine, but when you have 3 dogs trying to also sleep on it, well, things get kinda crowded. I think I ended up getting like 2 hours of sleep that night. Fun! πŸ˜‰

 

The next morning Luke’s youngest brother woke us up by coming into the living room where we were sleeping, and slowly getting closer and closer the the pullout couch. He’d take a step, stop, look at us for a little bit, then take another step, stop, you get the picture. That freaked Finn out. He forced his way in between Luke and I and was growling at Luke’s brother. After a few minutes of that we had to get up and let all of the dogs outside. Not long after that Luke’s dad and step mom came downstairs and started making breakfast. It seems like they like to do biscuits and gravy for holiday breakfasts but they know I’m not a fan, so they made me a nice sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich instead. πŸ™‚ So we ate, talked, Luke took a shower, his youngest brother explained pokemon to me while Luke’s dad and I were trying to talk about other stuff (haha sorry dude, but I could absolutely school you on pokemon! Next time we go there I’ll have to bring my DS and battle him. πŸ˜‰ ). And all the while Finn stood on a wood pile, looking longingly inside at us hahaha.

 

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This is the correct way to bathroom selfie, right? Haha just messing around after our 5 hour car ride.

The next morning Luke’s youngest brother woke us up by coming into the living room where we were sleeping, and slowly getting closer and closer the the pullout couch. He’d take a step, stop, look at us for a little bit, then take another step, stop, you get the picture. That freaked Finn out. He forced his way in between Luke and I and was growling at Luke’s brother. After a few minutes of that we had to get up and let all of the dogs outside. Not long after that Luke’s dad and step mom came downstairs and started making breakfast. It seems like they like to do biscuits and gravy for holiday breakfasts but they know I’m not a fan, so they made me a nice sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich instead. πŸ™‚ So we ate, talked, Luke took a shower, his youngest brother explained pokemon to me while Luke’s dad and I were trying to talk about other stuff (haha sorry dude, but I could absolutely school you on pokemon! Next time we go there I’ll have to bring my DS and battle him. πŸ˜‰ ). And all the while Finn stood on a wood pile, looking longingly inside at us hahaha.

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After Luke had showered and ate we drove to my old house so we could do some target practice. My mom and dad haven’t sold it yet so we’re still able to go there, although I don’t like going. The farm is sold so all of the land belongs to someone else now. And they’ve changed a lot of things and it just makes me sad. Haha the whole time we were there Luke kept telling me one day we’ll have our own land to do what we want with.

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My hand prints and my brother’s footprints (that you can barely see) in our old driveway. Crazy to think it was 18 years ago when we did that…

Anyway, Luke and I set up our target, technically on the people who bought the farm’s property, but they weren’t there so no big deal haha. πŸ˜‰ And did a little bit of shooting. It was cold and windy so we didn’t stay long, but it’s been a looooong time since I’ve shot a gun. Glad to see I can still hit a target! πŸ™‚

 

After we had our fun we drove to my grandma’s new house. She had a little Easter party so my great Aunt and Uncle (my Auntie and Uncle Pa. πŸ™‚ ), my mom, brother, and Uncle Ken (my mom’s brother) were all there. Luke said hi to everyone but had to leave because he had to go to his Grandma Becky’s Easter lunch. I was right about my grandma and Uncle Ken cooking though! They made an amazing ham, German green beans, cauliflower, potato salad, and my grandma made the BEST desserts; peach cobbler and a cheesecake. It was a fantastic lunch! After we’d all eaten my Aunt Lori showed up (she’s my Auntie and Uncle Pa’s daughter). So we all got to visit for a while. It started sleeting though, so my Auntie, Uncle Pa, and Aunt Lori had to leave before the weather got too bad. After they had gone my Grandma, Uncle, and I watched the Jesus Christ Super Star thing that was on TV. I’ve never actually seen Jesus Christ Super Star before, but I really enjoyed it! And Alice Cooper being in it was pretty spiffy too! And after that we were all pretty tired so we all went to bed.

So I spent my Easter shooting, eating, and hanging out with family. It was nice. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Monday morning Luke was up bright and early! Half an hour earlier than me, which doesn’t often happen haha. But we had things we wanted to do and we had to leave later that day, so getting up early made sense. πŸ™‚

First Luke and his brother came and picked up me and my brother and we drove back to the old house so our brothers could do a little bit of shooting. Again we didn’t spend a lot of time there. It was even colder and now it was wet and icy from the sleet the night before. We all had fun though. Luke’s brother doesn’t exactly get to shoot a lot so he was happy to get to, even though I kept having to remind him of gun safety. πŸ˜‰ And my brother got to show off a little bit and I never had to yell at him haha. But remember that both of us have been shooting basically since we could walk. πŸ˜‰

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This photo is actually from Sunday, but whatever. πŸ˜‰

After our second round of target practice, we drove back to Luke’s dad’s, picked up his youngest brother and went to the St. Louis City Museum. I haven’t been there since Iw as in like, second grade, and everyone else had never been, so we figured it would be fun to do something different. If you’ve never been to the City Museum, it’s basically a art exhibit/giant playground. With just a tiny bit of actual museum stuff thrown into the mix. The outdoor stuff was still all closed because it’s still too cold out, but there was still plenty to do inside! We played on skate ramps, climbed a crazy amount of stairs, went down a 10 story slide, climbed on stuff, explored an indoor cave, and ate overpriced pizza. It was a lot of fun. πŸ™‚

 

After the City museum we dropped my brother off at my grandma’s, dropped Luke’s younger brother off at his house, then Luke, his other brother, and I went to Barns and Noble, and then to Luke’s Grandma Wilma’s house. That’s when I got bit by the dog. When we got there her dogs bolted out the door, she said they’d run away, so I grabbed one of them, and she got scared, and bit my right hand a couple of times. Totally my fault. I shouldn’t of grabbed her like that. But she left one pretty decent puncture in my wrist, a few scratches, and my whole hand was swollen. Luke’s grandma cleaned up the wound, and put some antibacterial stuff on it along with a band aid. It hurt like hell but we figured it didn’t require a hospital visit. But anyway, we hung out with her for a while, but it was getting to be around 3:30 pm and Luke and I still needed to drive home. So we left her house, went to Luke’s dad’s said goodbye to everyone there, got Lily and Luke’s stuff. Drove to my Grandma’s, got Finn and Dean, and my stuff, said by to everyone there, got into the car, and began our journey home.

The drive home was slightly more miserable than the drive there. Our car doesn’t have any heat and it was cold and rainy out, so we got to spend 5 hours shivering. It definitely wasn’t as bad as our drive to Colorado over Thanksgiving though! The temperatures were in the negatives for a lot of that drive! This time it was above freezing at least. And we made it home around 9:15 pm without any real issues, so that was good. πŸ™‚

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Haha so yeah, like I said, we squeezed in quite a lot in the short amount of time we had there! Of course I ended up getting hurt, but at least it was during our last few hours there haha. And my hand is healing up quite nicely at this point! It’s still kinda sore and a little bit swollen, but I can actually use it again which is nice! Although after typing all of this it’s kinda hurting again. πŸ˜‰ And I’ve been able to keep the wound clean and it seems to be healing very well, so I’ll gladly take it! Cat bites tend to get infected more than dogs bites do, but still, you can never be too careful about that kind of thing. And I only missed out on a few days of running, and that was mostly just because we were traveling. But I’ll talk about that in my weekly recap on Sunday.

Whew! Alrighty then! I didn’t think this post was going to be so long haha. But I guess I should have seen that coming. We did do a lot of stuff. But, that is all for now!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Friday!!

You’re very injury prone friend,

~Ashley

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Easter Weekend

Happy Saturday, friends!!

(Just warning you that there is a picture of a bloody dog paw in this post. If you don’t want to see that don’t scroll down)

Yesterday Luke and I were quite busy, running around all over the place and trying to get some stuff done. Luke had to work today but was off yesterday and is off on Easter Sunday so we decided that today after he got off of work that we were going to drive to Illinois so we could hang out with some of our family over the holiday.

So, like I said, we spent a lot of time trying to do stuff yesterday. He cleaned out his car, I cleaned the chicken brooder and rabbit cages, then we went to several stores to get stuff we needed, and just did a bunch of boring adult stuff haha. Once we got all of that taken care of we were going to bring the dogs to the dog park so they could run around and burn off some energy since the car ride to Illinois is about 5 hours long. So we packed up the dogs, drove 40 minutes to the bigger park that we go to, started unloading them from the car, and noticed that the backseat was covered in blood… Somehow in the 40 minutes it took us to get to the park, Lily had ripped out one of her dew claws. We seriously have no idea how the heck she managed to do that! Her dew claws aren’t even that big. But I suppose that’s just proof that it’s not a bad idea to have them removed when they’re puppies. Finn’s breeder had his removed, and before I didn’t really think much of it but after yesterday’s indecent I’m very glad we wont have to worry about anything like that happening to him. But obviously Lily still has most of hers, and so does Dean.

Anyway, so we couldn’t go to the park with Lily hurt and bleeding all over the place so we had to drive to a nearby Walgreen’s instead and did some first aid in the parking lot. Luckily I’m pretty well versed in first aid. I’m a hug klutz and am constantly having to fix myself. Plus it doesn’t really seem to be bothering Lily. She still wanted to go to the park and once we finally got home we put the chickens outside in their coop and she spent a lot of time running around the yard and keeping an eye on them. So at least she’s not too hurt. But Lily is a tough farm dog. A little foot injury like that isn’t going to slow her down!

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So today was also just a lot of me getting things ready for us to be gone for a few days as well. I made sure the cats, rabbits, ferrets, and chickens had enough food and water. Since we’re only going to be gone for like, 2 ish days we really don’t need anyone to check on them. I did some cleaning around the house. It was basically a disaster though and there was no way I was going to have time to clean it very well before we left, which sucks. It’s always nice coming back to a clean house… But I did do a piss ton of laundry. A lot of that actually consisted of stuff I needed to pack, but whatever. πŸ˜‰ And cleaned all of our dirty dishes, so at the very least we’ll have clean clothes/dishes to come home to. I did try to minimize the disaster area though and picked up, wiped down counters and tables, and did little stuff like that.

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They like to perch on the sides of the brooder. Luckily they haven’t taken to escaping and wandering around the room they’re in. Yet…

I also had to bathe Dean and Finn. They were both terrible messes since it’s been really wet and muddy here in Kansas. Luckily they don’t put up much of a fight when it comes to getting bathed, but they definitely don’t like it and they don’t exactly make it easy. I got it done though and they’re both pretty darn clean! For now.

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The two troublemakers; Finn and Dean.Β 

Anyway, so by the time Luke got home from work, around 6:30 pm I had everything ready to go! He had picked up dinner on his way home from work, so we ate, packed up the car, made the dogs go pee, loaded them into the car, and then hit the road! Which is where we’ve been for about an hour now. Fun times! πŸ˜‰ But the drive to Illinois is a lot more more pleasant than the drive to Colorado where my parent’s and siblings live. That takes about 11 hours and is sooooo boring. At least driving to Illinois only takes about 5 hours. So we should be getting there around 1 am. That’s not too bad.

Happy Easter! I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

~Ashley